Judge Not That You Be Not Judged
This phrase, drawn from Matthew 7:1, is often used in connection with, Who are you to judge me? or Jesus told us never to judge people, only to love them. This perspective frequently flows from an individualistic mindset in which the basis of morality and justice should be independently determined, shortening the intention of Jesus statement to practically mean, Do not judge. This line of thought establishes the standard that there is no objective truth or morality and that we dont want to be held responsible for our behavior. This desire for moral independence fits well within our individualistic society but comes up short within the context of the following verses when Jesus describes stringent standards for the behavior of His followers, noting how the path to life is narrow and that we can recognize and discern false prophets by their fruit . How can Jesus be opening Matthew 7 by telling us not to judge and then provide specific measures and categories by which we can determine the narrow gate from the wide gate of destruction, false prophets from good prophets by their fruit, and foolish men from wise men by their behavior?
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged What Jesus Meant
Yes, there is a point when we must confront the sin in another Christians life. Otherwise, were failing to obey the process Jesus and Paul explained in Matthew 18:15-17 Galatians 6:1 and 1 Corinthians 5:3-5.
However, that process should only occur after weve gone through a more basic examination with our own lives.
Judge not lest ye be judged. Jesus meant that our priority for life change should first be to ourselvesthen to others.
Tell me what you think: Has anyone ever quoted you, Judge not lest ye be judged? What did he or she mean by it? To leave a comment, just .
Two Qualifiers For Judging
Following the initial command not to judge, Jesus gives two qualifiers. First, he says that with the judgment, you pronounce you will be judged . This sobering reality should cause self-reflection. If we are going to be held to the same standard that we hold others to then we are more likely to extend grace rather than condemnation. Second, Jesus uses a metaphor of someone trying to remove a speck from the eye of his brother while not noticing the log that is in his own eye . Judge not, therefore, seems not to preclude any evaluations of others, but is instead a call to right and fair evaluation. In the metaphor of the speck in the eye, the one with the log still helps to remove the speck but only after dealing with their own larger issues .
Based on the passages we have considered, we can identify a few principles related to a biblical view of judging. These are in no way comprehensive or the last word on a complex subject, but hopefully, they can provide some boundaries and suggestions about how to take seriously the full biblical picture of judging others.
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The Surprising Meaning Of Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged
What did Jesus mean when he said, Judge not, lest be judged?
Should Christians judge people?
Yes and no.
Its one of the most misused, misquoted, misunderstood verses in the Bible.
When someone wants to justify their life choices to you, they pull out their trump card, Judge not, lest ye be judged!
Then they drop the mic
expecting you to immediately embrace the fact that they want to get divorced, have an affair, be a man, be a woman, be a goat, marry a goat, sell goatswhatever.
If youve spent any time studying that Bible verse, you know that when Jesus said, Judge not that ye be not judged, he wasnt saying that we cant evaluate whether someones choices are wrong.
Jesus did that himself on a regular basis .
Is It Ever Appropriate To Judge
While the Bible denounces faultfinding, it applauds fruit inspecting . By their fruit you will recognize them . If a person has a pattern of wrong or hurtful behavior, that information helps us make sound decisions. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness instead, expose them
When a church member was involved in sexual sin Paul said For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this . In other words, Paul didnt need to interview the man to find out why he was doing what he did. He judged the mans behavior based on the Scriptures.
Many people suffer because they suppress the negative vibes they pick up. They dont want to appear judgmental. Yet Jesus said, be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves .
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Lesson 1: The Sin Of Judging Others
I once served on a jury for a drunk driving case. The defendant had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. The judge carefully instructed us that our job was to determine if this woman had, in fact, broken the law. I naively thought that the case was a slam-dunk. We shouldnt have to deliberate longer than a few minutes.
We got into the jury room and one guy piped up, I can drink that much and drive without any problem! Someone else chimed in with similar comments. Some ladies said how nice the young woman seemed to be. I couldnt believe it! They were totally ignoring the judges instructions! After three hours of wrangling, another juror and I finally had persuaded everyone of the womans guilt, except for one woman. She said, I could never vote to convict her, because the Bible says, Judge not, lest you be judged.
It was late in the day, and I knew that if we didnt convict her, wed all have to come back the next day. So I said, None of us wants to come back tomorrow. Were going to convict her, so you just keep quiet! Thats how justice was done!
In concluding this section on resolving conflicts , James elaborates on Jesus command against judging one another. His message is:
To resolve conflicts, stop judging others and submit to Gods authoritative Word.
Why Is It Important To Use Right Judgment
We know judge not doesnt negate right judgment because Gods laws are summed up four-lettersLOVE . The Bible says, Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil cling to what is good . Love is stronger than tolerance. It seeks the eternal good of the one loved. It protects even when it uncomfortable to do so. If something is harmful , love stays away from it. Good parents monitor their childrens diets, friends, hobbies, and screen time to protect their bodies, hearts, and minds.
Judge not lest ye be judged begins a chapter that warns against evil influences. God doesnt want us to hurt other people neither does He want us to be victims of harm .
A woman told me a tragic story of the peril of ignoring discernment. A neighbor came to her apartment late one night and asked to come in. Her internal alarm sounded, and she said, No. But when he told her he was depressed and needed to talk with someone and she was the nicest person he knew, a debate raged in her mind. This man has been drinking it is late I dont feel good about this On the other hand, this may be my opportunity to win him to Christ. How can I call myself a Christian and turn him away? She let him in, and he raped her. Dont let the fear of being judgmental cause you to throw away your God-given discernment. Satan misused Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness . He uses the same tricks today. Adolf Hitler said, What luck for leaders that men dont think. May that not be true of us.
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Caution: Judge At Your Own Risk
Actually, when Jesus says, Judge not, hes not really issuing a prohibition on judging others hes issuing a serious warning to take great care how we judge others. We know this because Jesus goes on to say,
Why do you see the speck that is in your brothers eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye.
How we judge others says far more about us than how we are judged by others.
Its not wrong to lovingly help our brother remove a harmful speck from his eye. Its wrong to self-righteously point out a speck in our brothers eye when we ignore, as no big deal, the ridiculous log protruding from our own.
So, Jesus is placing, as it were, a neon-red-blinking sign over others that tells us, Caution: judge at your own risk. It is meant to give us serious pause and examine ourselves before saying anything. Our fallen nature is profoundly selfish and proud and often hypocritical, judging ourselves indulgently and others severely. We are quick to strain gnats and swallow camels , quick to take tweezers to anothers eye when we need a forklift for our own. It is better to judge not than to judge like this, since we will be judged in the same way we judge others.
What Is The Meaning And Context Of Judge Not That You Be Not Judged
The first rule of understanding the meaning of a passage is to explore the context. Matthew 7 is the final chapter of Jesus Sermon on the Mount, beginning in chapter 5 with the Beatitudes. The purpose of the Sermon on the Mount is not to explain the way of salvation because it is directed to his disciples who have already repented and were seeking further instruction on living in right relationship with God. Jesus contrasts the behavior and expectations of the Pharisees in this sermon with the standards of righteousness expected for those who come to God through faith. Jesus standards do not extinguish the expectations of the Law and Prophets but demonstrated that external righteousness, like that of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, was insufficient . The righteousness that Jesus requires is internal and comes from faith in Gods Word , permeating all of the person and transforming them so that the symptoms of this change and not the substance are demonstrated through the fruit that comes in pursuit of his kingdom and righteousness .
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Understanding A Misunderstood Bible Verse
Judge not, lest ye be judged comes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 57 of the King James Bible. How has it become a harmless aphorism?
Sermon on the Mount
There are some Bible verses that have become such a part of secular culture that we receive them as generic platitudes, interpreting them in simplified, anachronistic ways. For example, on the morning of March 21, 2018, the nations Capricorns were greeted with a biblical warning when they checked their daily horoscope: Judge not, lest ye be judged. That sentence, of course, comes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 57. Heres how the King James Version of the Bible renders Jesuss timeless maxim: Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged.
The horoscope, penned by syndicated astrologer Jeraldine Saunders, clarified the meaning of the cryptic verse in the next sentence. Its not for you to say, wrote Saunders, if someone wants to do something that you consider foolish or silly.
In this digestible, secularized gloss of the verse, Jesuss imperative suddenly feels like a tolerationist bromide on par with to each her own and live and let live. Or, as one education scholar in 1964 called it, a harmless aphorism.
But is that really all it is? Judging by the array of sources and intellectual byways opened up by the JSTOR Understanding Series for the King James Version of the Bible, the answer to this question is a definitive No.
So How Should Christians Judge Others
It seems to me that there is a middle ground between Westboro Baptist judgment and Unitarian we are the world acceptance.
That middle ground is compassionate judgment. Judgement tempered by the love of Jesus.
When I see someone sinning, I can acknowledge that its sin in need of Jesus, but I can also say, Tell me more.
I can acknowledge that the sin contradicts the Bible while also working to study the person to understand them more.
I can work to understand all thats going into their behavior. How much of it flows out past experiences? What did they see modeled in their parents? What have they been taught by others? Sin never comes out of nowhere.
Compassionate judgment seeks to stay faithful to the Bible and also love the person who struggles. It strives to identify the speck in someone elses eye while simultaneously trying to rip the log out of my own.
Jesus didnt say, Judge not lest ye be judged, in order to make us meek and mild people who celebrate everything and everything. Jesus said it so that we would be slow to judge and so that our judgment would be tempered by mercy.
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Judge With Right Judgment
How we judge others says far more about us than how we are judged by others. This is why God will judge us in the manner we judge others, not in the manner they judge us. Therefore, we must judge with right judgment . And right judgment is charitably quick to believe innocence, charitably slow to pronounce guilt, charitably redemptive when it must be, and charitably silent if at all possible.
And when in doubt, judge not.
The Difference Between Right And Wrong And Judging
First let me start off by explaining that there is a difference between understanding the difference between right and wrong and judging. I am not supporting some type of relative morality.
Right and wrong exist and are absolutes that are found in the Scriptures. However, the pronouncement of a sentence is different.
Judging is when you not only see the wrong someone is doing but then declaring a punishment or sentence upon that person.
For example, recently I read a blog post about a well-known pastor and leader of a group of churches that according to the Scriptures is handling an accusation of abuse in one of his churches poorly.
If we have learned anything by the way that the Catholic Bishops handled this type of situation, it is that accusations of abuse should be taken seriously and handled with transparency and not covered up.
This pastor, instead of dealing with the situation, decided to use his pulpit to denounce and pass judgment upon the one who is claiming they were abused.
This type of behavior is wrong.
However, I do not pass judgment on this pastor.
I do not say He will burn in hell for it, or that calamity will befall him for doing this. I just call it wrong.
That is the difference between knowing right and wrong according to the Bible and passing judgment.
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What Does The Bible Say About Judging Others
People are always writing me saying, dont judge only God can judge. This statement is not even in the Bible. Most of the people who say that it is wrong to judge others are not unbelievers. They are people who profess to be Christians. People dont understand that they are being hypocritical because they are judging themselves.
These days people would rather allow people to go to hell than expose evil. Many people say, why are Christians so judgmental? You get judged all your life, but as soon as its about Christianity it is a problem. Judging is not sinful, but a judgmental critical heart is, which I will explain below.
What Is The Bible Verse That Says Not To Judge
Bible Gateway Matthew 7 :: NIV. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brothers eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
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‘judge Not’ Do Not Judge Your Fellow Believers
Having been forgiven for every sinful thing that we have done or will ever do, , believers now have no right to judge anyone.
Since it is God who judges all things, , it is somewhat frightening that we pay so little attention to this matter .
I am as guilty of this as anyone else.
We sometimes make the same mistake as the Apostle Peter. Upon asking Jesus about the fate of the Apostle John, Jesus said to him:
What is that to you? You must follow Me. John 21:22
And so, our mean-spirited judgments of those still trapped in sin, , must stop. We must become known for our love of sinner and saint, displaying the same grace that has been offered us through Christ Jesus.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…if we love each other, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11-12
Christs love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 2 Corinthians 5:14
Do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that Gods kindness leads you toward repentance? Romans 2:4